Türkiye Cumhuriyeti

Berlin Başkonsolosluğu

Konuşma Metinleri

7 Tepe 7 Mimar Sergisi Açılış Konuşması, 15.05.2009

Dirokterin Frau Kristien Rey,
Sayın Süha Özkan,
Sayın Pelin Derviş,

I want to thank Deutsches Architecture Zentrum and the World Architecture Community for inviting me to the opening of the exhibition “7 Architects from 7 Hills” and the parallel exhibition by Garanti Galeri “Becoming Istanbul.” I could not miss such a pleasant occasion that displays fine examples representing the creativity of Turkey’s most distinguished personalities in the realm of architecture and art. Moreover, as a fellow Turkish citizen of Istanbul it gives me extra pride to be able to witness here in Berlin some of Istanbul’s modern magnificence.

It is quite meaningful that this exhibition takes place in the year we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of the partnership between the great cities of Istanbul and Berlin, both of which have witnessed turbulence and rebirth throughout the course of history. Istanbul, the crossroads of thousands of years of civilization was built and rebuilt as “newcomers” added their own cultural touches to the town. Berlin, the victim of war – both hot and cold -- was sadly destroyed and divided, until reunification started to bring back its former flair.

Today the commonness of both cities lies in their ambitious return to glory. Istanbul is recuperating from years of unhealthy urbanization, which took away some of its former charm. But Istanbul has now become the mirror of Turkey’s recent sweeping changes in mentality with regard to modernization, becoming the biggest source of attraction in the two continents it occupies. Berlin, on its own merits, is becoming a true world capital of art and culture at a time when cultural barriers need to shrink.

Both towns face great challenges, because ambitious projects in all aspects of contemporary urban development require not only vision, but money. I know that the partnership of these two cities has brought about good cooperation, in particular, in learning from experiences. It has helped build cultural bridges between Turkey and Germany. It has also nurtured the sense of belonging – and ownership -- among the sizable Turkish and German-Turkish community here in Berlin.

Today’s exhibition and the presence of 7 reputed Turkish architects is a unique opportunity to present to Berlin, and Germany, something which is often overlooked when we mention progress and modernization in Turkey -- and that is, to what extent Turkish architecture has become a competitive part of the world of architecture. Certainly, any traveler to Turkey and Istanbul will be amazed at what they see by some of the shoddy construction and tasteless simplistic designs in many buildings. More so, when we witness the magnificence and abundance of the historical monuments that symbolize the city. But Istanbul is recuperating from an illness, and on the other side of the coin, as anyone can see creativity in modern design and construction is now definitely on the rise in Turkey. Today, the future of Istanbul’s skyline lies in the good hands of artists of the kind we see in this exhibition.

I want to especially commend World Architecture Community for the brilliant work it has been doing in uniting world and Turkish architects and in promoting the Turkish architecture community worldwide. Together with DAZ, your services in making this exhibition possible contribute so much to our efforts to build the real image of Turkey in Germany.

As a new citizen of Berlin, one of my greatest pleasures has been enjoying what I see. This is not only the wealth of the treasures that Berlin cherishes in the forms of museums or its respect to nature or its efficient public services, but the aesthet